FANTASTIC FOUR Could Feature an Entirely DIFFERENT CAST? (Part 1)
Does the casting of Fantastic Four just seem a bit off? Is there something about it that just feels wrong? It's quite possible that many reports were absolutely wrong, as new evidence suggests that even FOX might agree with them being wrong.
"As for the casting stuff? Remember, it's all fluid. What was true a week ago - someone was in talks, the production was close to having a deal - isn't true today. And an actor the studio wasn't interested in a year ago may have suddenly gotten their attention recently. Official casting has to happen in the near future, so we'll know soon enough." -director Josh Trank to BadassDigest's Devin Faraci 2/4/14
20th Century Foxs did not announce their cast on Feb 5, and no one appointed TheWrap to speak on behalf of the studio, even the actors in the report had no idea -- shoudn't they be the first to know? Fox would've informed them all of their unanimous decision well ahead of time, so why did Kate Mara say: "According to Twitter I am. I literally haven't heard a thing, which is alarming." So an online citizen journalist got his hands on an official studio casting list, before the cast itself could be fully notified with a few quick phone calls? IT'S DEBUNKED! TheWrap's report saying "Kate Mara got the offer to play Sue Storm" is simply not true in light of her initial (and more recent) responses.
2 MONTHS LATER: Kate Mara still doesn't know anything!
So far the studio's kept a tight lid on their casting process, comparing their secrecy to WB's eventual Jesse Eisenberg/Lex Luthor announcement (in which every rumor was wrong). Studio representatives aren't allowed to talk openly about it, but potential actors can speak freely so long as they don't have the part, Miles Teller has spoken regularly about a role he'd rather be doing, but filming for the Divergent sequels eliminates any chance of him being in Fantastic Four. So never take an actor's off-hand remark as a source of “confirmation” of course Mara and Jordan responded to seeing their names on Twitter, based on the order of events it was not a response to being cast, but alas, a few obscure and unrelated tweets were lumped together and mistaken for a coordinated reveal.
"In a movie that has a huge amount of attention already, I use Twitter as a way of connecting with fans, and also as a way of clearing up misunderstandings so that people know. You may hear that an actor is cast, or hear somebody is going to be in it, but until I say so, that's the confirmation." -Bryan Singer
Josh Trank had sarcastically tweeted a fake URL that contained the word "Yes" in it, and called the discussion on Twitter "casting debates" showing a clear disdain for how quickly his previous debunkings were disregarded. Much like the dishonest film reporters who put 'The Reluctant Four' in this compromising position, actors only say things that represent their own interests and not the direct agendas of 20th Century Fox (so the filmmakers aren't involved when actors talk about stuff written on the internet.) Of course the media puts them under pressure to sound more sure than unsure, but actors are basically trained liars, I wouldn't put it past anyone to make vaguely affirmative statements distorted by self-serving bias for these highly highly coveted roles:
"The last we heard, the four main actors hadn’t yet closed deals to star in ‘Fantastic Four’ but were in "final negotiations." That would mean that, while unorthodox, Fox could potentially cut any one of them loose with little-to-no financial repercussions." -Mike Sampson, ScreenCrush 3/14/14
For an article saying "negotiations were taking place" somehow each subsequent re-report got away with calling it "an official announcement", even though TheWrap's impeccable sources never confirmed that four contracts were signed overnight. Don't strain yourself pulling on a cable that doesn't trace back to any studio outlet -- Fox had nothing to do with this report! No comment, nothing to say, no guilt by association, so that leaves only one person behind the disappointing miscast, former Variety reporter Jeff Sneider whose reputation for "unprofessional behavior" and tweets regarding "the value of fancasts" precedes him. A whole 48 hours later he called it "the most likely cast" in a video explaining his own reasoning behind choosing these four "choices" and concluded the vlog by saying "I really hope these deals are gonna close." Keep in mind, this is the same Jeff Sneider who started the Miles Tellor rumor on August 2nd, but even after the director officially debunked it on August 3rd this rumor persisted to make insulting headlines like 'MILES TELLER CONFIRMS TALKS' when the actor said things like "uhh... I don't know." Of course in the absence of real news the “I don't know”-means-“yes” quotation molestation is standard policy these days, but this wasn't Sneider's first shot-in-the-dark casting idea. He tweeted back in March 2013 that TMNT's Noel Fisher had been eyed for Johnny Storm, but because the Canadian actor refused to comment nothing ever became of this quickly forgotten exclusive:
“There is no official deal in place for Bell, 20th Century Fox had no comment, and representatives for Teller, Mara and Bell declined our request for comment.” -TheWrap, direct source of the exclusive and unaccompanied casting report
CONFIRMED: Jamie Bell was never in talks with the studio!
"Jamie Bell had never been mentioned in connection with this movie. But I think it's a perfect choice. No, he's not the [accurately describes Ben Grimm's physicality] he's a skinny, scrappy kind of guy, but he has experience with motion-capture performance." -Jeff Sneider, a noted fan-caster
One film reporter's opinion (the deciding factor in a fancast) is the reason Jamie Bell's twitter account reached over 100,000 followers in the span of a week, but responding to all the unanswered Ben Grimm-related questions is too much to ask. By acknowledging an internet-born rumor, even with total uncertainty, your name gets inexorably linked to the project. Internet discussions start to sound like studio discussions when fake terminology is being thrown around, so articles using made-up phrases like 'in final talks' are a clear sign of forgery, no one could possibly know what stage of "discussion" they're in. It's not unlike the media to spin deceptive headlines out of the same old names for months at a time, then writing up a fake confirmation article becomes an easy task for any ordinary schmoe. The filmmakers are often ignored in place of sensationalism, and whenever the latest non-studio report blatantly contradicts with older official studio reports, we're more willing to accuse the director of lying about previous debunkings that are still being circulated by the ignorant press. I've seen career journalists who can't even differentiate the two sources -- the studio doesn't deserve your misplaced skepticism and internet film reporters deserve every grain of salt in the shaker. So until further notice, until the studio claims this as their own, it's nothing more than Jeff Sneider's casting prediction:
"Keep in mind these are just my personal choices for the roles, this has nothing to do with the actual movie, and keep in mind that all of this is subject to change.” -Jeff Sneider's DISCLAIMER for his Ghostbusters 3 fancast
Somone reporting “the most likely” casting story doesn't make this the most likely cast, because neither the studio nor the acting agencies gave a dignified answer to what is either an unprompted guess – or just another misinformed news piece.
"The internet will decide on its own whatever is apparently happening" -Josh Trank
"As for previous denials (including Miles Teller), Trank expressed frustration with the way that amorphous wish lists get reported as fact. I've made this point before - a list of actors being looked at for a role tells you nothing except who are the hot actors in a film's particular price range. The biggest star is not always the best (or most likely) fit. It's why I hesitate to run such early casting stories - as all the incorrect Lex Luthor reports show, they're often bunk. -Devin Faraci, Josh Trank
FACT #1: Trank has denied wanting to cast Miles Teller TWICE
"That little [Miles Teller] rumor floating around today? It isn't true. The end." -Josh Trank tweeted this on August 3rd, less than 24 hours after Jeff Sneider suggested The Spectacular Now star should (and I quote) "put on the tights for a superhero role"
The director's last interview with BadassDigest was called "You'll See the Truth About Fantastic Four in 2015" a preemptive strike at debunking all rumors within a six-month span, so even though saying ”no new casting info from Feb 5 until July 24” wasn't explicitly spelled out, Josh Trank certainly tried to dissuade all notions that any previous rumors were true. So you can imagination his frustration when "fan wish lists" getting reported as fact, he debunked Variety.com's shortlist which included the already bunk Teller and the unsure Mara, and Saoirse Ronan called that list "rumors" and says she did not audition. The official cast won't be revealed in it's entirety until the San Diego Comic Con (July 24-27) Fantastic Four panel so nobody could possibly be "locked-in" so far away from the studio's announced due date. 20th Century Fox has yet to crush anyone's spirits by debunking the reports, deciding to let the actors have their publicity boost, and on July 24th a far better cast will take their place.
"This sucks!" -Jon Campea
FACT #2: Variety.com's shortlist (with Teller and Mara) was called "a non-factual wish list" by the director.
FACT #3: Saoirse Ronan did not audition and called it "rumors" so the whole Variety report (including Teller and Mara) claiming all six actor auditioned -- was completely fabricated.
"Is it possible Teller – along with his That Awkward Moment co-star Michael B. Jordan – were part of the casting groups Fox tested in search of the right family chemistry? Absolutely. Does this mean Teller and Jordan were the only actors Trank had in mind for the roles of Reed and Johnny Storm? Absolutely not. And that’s where Trank’s frustration surely stems from – who a studio considers feasible for a role and who is eventually cast can (and often do) differ greatly." -ScreenCrush
FACT #4: Mike Jordan has been falsely confirmed too many times to count, SchmoesKnow "confirmed" it a year ago (citing Nicki Finke as direct source of the rumor) Jordan continued to say otherwise. It's an internet campaign akin to "Donald Glover as Spider-Man" except Michael doesn't want the role! He'd rather "play a character who looks like" him.
FACT #5: Jeff Sneider's Doctor Doom shortlist was a wish-list of his own creation, Variety's Justin Kroll chose Toby Kebbell as "the most likely" frontrunner, this isn't the studio narrowing down their casting process. Film reporters are guessing at it.
“I don't think we're gonna get anything official from this production until Comic Con, and I think Trank is more interested in making his movie than promoting it while it's still in pre-production. Of course there will still be rumors and lies – we live in an era when blogs happily make up superhero casting stories to get hits and then nobody takes them to task for being wrong, so it's not stopping anytime soon.”
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